Thursday, April 30, 2009

Steven Keillor's God's Judgments

I have read several books from intervarsity press and found most of them to be rather disappointing. They all seem to criticize popular “worldviews” or “ideologies” in favor of some wishy-washy moderate position with little or no Bible-based arguments. Dr. Richard Mouw’s Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World makes some good points about how to deal with unbelievers, but the compromising position on abortion undercuts the credibility of it. He seems to fail to see that we are in a war with Satan. The Two Tasks of the Christian Scholar engages in the discussion of how to get Christian values back into “the academy”. The book has a few helpful hints to help professors in their efforts to witness to their students, but most of it is not very instructive and it totally ignores the root of the problem which is that we have allowed government to control our educational institutions in the first place.

But then I read God’s Judgments: Interpreting History and the Christian Faith by Steven J. Keillor. This book is AWESOME!!! I couldn’t put it down! Keillor says in no uncertain terms that God still judges nations (with war, famines, disasters, and such) today. He totally shreds to pieces arguments to the contrary.

I don’t want to give away the whole book, but here some of the main points.

Keillor points out that the Hebrew word for judgment, misphat, has a connotation that goes beyond just punishing evildoers. It implies a “sifting out” or separating of the good from out of the evil. (Remember the refiner’s fire and the separating of the wheat from the chaff.) It is like a light which not only exposes the hypocrites of our day, but also reveals the imperfections in our political systems and ideologies.

Don’t be turned off by his criticism of Pat Robertson’s and Jerry Falwell’s anti-abortion rhetoric at the beginning of the book. He exposes their hypocrisy (a very small portion of it, in my opinion) and harshly criticizes the our current policies on abortion, cloning, human embryonic stem cell research and genetic engineering later on in the book.

He talks about the various viewpoints that were being bandied about in the wake of September 11th, criticizing liberals, conservatives, and moderates alike. Then he goes through the Bible (both OT and NT) and focuses on passages which give the reasons for why God judged the nations the way he did. Then he examines the burning of the White House in 1814 and the Civil War and builds the case that these were examples of God acting in history to punish our nation.

He criticizes the notion that everything we do as a nation is OK with God as long as we do it in a Democratic fashion with free market economics. He criticizes the idea that candidates for offices should use only “worldview” arguments that are based on avoidance of natural consequences of poor policies while remaining silent about the role of God’s judgment. (In his own home state of Minnesota, there is even a law against making “spiritual” threats in a political campaign!) He exposes SOME of the hypocrisies of both the liberals, conservatives, Republicans, and Democrats and shows that they are both to blame for the September 11th attacks. He criticizes their “support ALL of our policies (regardless of whether you agree or disagree)” rhetoric which has caused some many people on both sides to compromise their values.

This book definitely does not say all that needs to be said on the issues he touched on, and I don’t agree with everything he says, but this is a must read for any Christian statesman. This book is AWESOME!!!

1 comment:

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